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    • #28111

      Carson
      Participant
      Cricket Contest

      This is Gus (aka Giuseppe), my male albino horned frog. I’ve had him for over 12 years now, since he was the size of a half dollar. He’s outlived many of my other animals and even the local pet store I bought him from!

      I wish I could say he was sweet, but he’s not. Notoriously grumpy, he’s mastered the art of lunging at me when I least expect it. I think he enjoys giving me a heart attack. Over the years, he’s mellowed out and finally tolerates me holding him, but our friendship is mostly on a “look, don’t touch” basis.

      Naturally, he enjoys crickets. Lots of them. With a year’s supply, he might even smile 🙂

      I hope you’ve enjoyed meeting Gus as much as I’ve enjoyed keeping him!

    • #28114

      Zoodulcis
      Moderator

      Gus sounds like a grumpy old man alright. Plainly, he has an awesome home there with you, and a very patient and understanding owner. I gave you a critter gold for sure. Why do you get a horned frog those many years ago?

      • #28122

        Carson
        Participant

        Thank you! You’re very kind. I believe I purchased a book on amphibians and found a section on them. I was instantly hooked on their size and bizarre appearance (I was really only familiar with bullfrogs and tree frogs prior). I bought as many books as I could find, learned the care and requirements, and eventually stopped by our local pet store. He was there and the rest is history 🙂

        • #28129

          Zoodulcis
          Moderator

          You did the whole thing right, the way more people should do pet acquisition. Read up first, and only then, make the purchase. It’s more rare than it should be. Your preparation is probably why he has made it to the ripe old age of 12. Is he your only pet?

        • #28134

          Carson
          Participant

          Research is not only important for the animal’s well-being, it also improves the relationship you form with them. When you understand what an animal needs, you get a first row seat into their world and the entire experience is more positive.

          Besides Gus, I currently keep over half a dozen fire-bellied toads (which started as a male/female pair), two milk frogs and a crocodile newt. They may make their own cameos in future posts! In the past I’ve kept green tree frogs, White’s tree frogs, dwarf African clawed frogs, a Sierra newt, and another horned frog (a sweet boy with MBD). Most were deliberate decisions, but a few were given to me or needed immediate homes.

          For any beginner with their heart set on an owning an amphibian, fire-bellied toads are hard to beat. Hardy, amiable, and easy to care for. White’s are also great, but 20 year life spans are not uncommon. Horned frogs are sold as beginner pets but are really intermediate as far as care.

        • #28140

          Zoodulcis
          Moderator

          Sounds like you have been at the reptile and amphibian business for a while. I bet you started as a kid, true?

        • #28188

          Carson
          Participant

          I did. I started with a green tree frog in a 10 gallon long terrarium *cringe*. Gus was a couple years later, after I was more knowledgeable (and bought my patient tree frog a nice tall Exoterra, lol). But yeah, I’ve been at it 14 something years. Had more than one heating element catch fire. The full hobbyist experience 🙂

        • #28190

          Zoodulcis
          Moderator

          Heating element catching fire!!! Did they just spontaneously combust or did something trigger a firey event?

        • #28209

          Carson
          Participant

          I think Zilla’s heating products had quality control issues for several years. One time I caught one of my reflector domes crackling, smoking and shooting little flames out the top. Their housing often cracked, exposing the wires inside. Another time one of their heat mats melted off the back of my vivarium and burned the wall. Scary stuff! I believe they got their act together eventually, but regardless, I now stick to Vivosun heat mats on a thermostat for ambient heating. I sleep better at night, haha.

        • #28210

          Zoodulcis
          Moderator

          Thanks for that honest assessment of these products. Scary indeed!! I have heard any reviews of vivosun on this forum, but I think I will look them up online and see if they are generally recommended more highly than Zilla these days. Were any pets harmed by these events?

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